The Greatest Showman is the latest Hollywood blockbuster to receive critical acclaim across the world. The American musical biopic follows P. T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman), the man who invented show-business and the circus as we know it. Orphaned and penniless, Barnum rises above this to open the first entertainment show introducing extraordinary never-before-seen acts to the public. Not everyone agrees with these acts being in the public eye though and Barnum, plus his collection of “freaks”, must overcome backlash and abuse in order to continue living a better life and bring entertainment to those who want it.
The cast is filled with great names and they really bring the energy throughout. Hugh Jackman in the lead is perfect, he gives out a determination to succeed and improve his life for himself and his family. Therefore it’s easy to see how his character gets swept up in the adoration he receives from the public and inevitably loses sight of what he was actually wanting to achieve. Hugh is a great actor and you will quickly fall in love with his portrayal of Barnum. His relationship with Michelle Williams (Suite Francaise) who plays Barnum’s wife Charity is sweet and clearly full of love. Childhood friends – even though her family forbid it due to Barnum being working class – their love led them to running away and this love carries them through all the ups and downs that follow.
Zac Efron (a personal favourite of mine) is back in a musical role – forever known for playing Troy Bolton in High School Musical! – here, he is Phillip Carlyle, a playwright who Barnum convinces to join in his venture. Upon meeting, Phillip falls in love with Anne (Zendaya, Spider-man Homecoming) an African-American trapeze artist. She returns the feelings but being a white man and a black woman their relationship is forbidden. Both Zac and Zendaya play this really beautifully, their scenes together are touching as the two try to suppress their desires for one another and follow social expectations.
Rebecca Ferguson (The Girl on the Train) is Opera singer Jenny Lund who Barnum brings into his show in order to attract a higher class of audience. However her arrival proves a distraction for Barnum as he focuses all his attentions onto her and loses sight of his family and the other performers. Rebecca is great as Jenny and gives one of the more powerful musical performances of the film with the song Never Enough – think along the lines of Elsa’s Let it Go from Frozen – although Rebecca doesn’t actually sing it in real life, the stunning voice belongs to Loren Allred.
The musical performances are incredible throughout, every member of cast really throws themselves into them and this creates a powerful watch. The stand out song of the film is This is Me, which is an anthem for all those who feel like they are different. The songs are all fantastic – written by Justin Paul and Benj Pasek, who won Oscar’s for their work on La La Land – they fit perfectly within the story and are incredibly catchy, I actually bought the soundtrack right after seeing the film and now have it on repeat!
Overall, I’m going to put it out there and say that The Greatest Showman is possibly one of the best films I’ve seen in a while! Everything about it is mesmerising, from the story line to the musical numbers to the costumes and brilliant acting…I couldn’t fault it! Definitely a must see, it’s family friendly and the catchy songs will be stuck in your head for days to come. I’m actually itching to see it again it’s that good! A great film to start the New Year with and one which is bound to win many awards in the coming weeks.